Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for September 5, 2018

Newsline: Paraguay backtracks months after moving its Israel embassy to Jerusalem

Four months after moving its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, Paraguay announced on Wednesday that it would reverse its decision and move its diplomatic mission back to Tel Aviv. The move comes weeks after Mario Abdo assumed office as the new president of Paraguay, replacing Horacio Cartes who had attended the inauguration ceremony for the Jerusalem embassy in May. Although Abdo and Cartes both belong to the ruling Colorado party, the conservative political movement is deeply divided. The Israeli government promptly responded by recalling its ambassador to Paraguay and shutting down its embassy in the South American country. “Israel views with great severity the exceptional decision of Paraguay that will cloud relations between the two countries,” a statement by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs read. Paraguay had been the third country after the United States and Guatemala to move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem – a controversial move seen by critics as recognition of the holy city as the exclusive capital of Israel.



Newsline: Bangladeshi embassy workers in Saudi Arabia accused of abusing tortured maids

The Bangladeshi embassy in Saudi Arabia has suspended two workers accused of abusing women who had fled to the embassy-run shelter in Jeddah after being tortured by their Saudi employers. Local authorities took action after an abuse victim, who had been working as a maid in Saudi Arabia, tried to kill herself at Dhaka airport in Bangladesh last week. The tortured maid attempted to kill herself by swallowing insecticide inside a toilet in Dhaka airport, according to official Bangladeshi police documents seen by Middle East Eye. According to the documents, fellow abuse victims who accompanied the woman from the safe house in Saudi Arabia intervened, alongside airport cleaning staff, to stop the woman from killing herself. Airport police officers interviewed the woman and then filed a case against four employees of the Bangladeshi embassy in Saudi Arabia, accusing them of directly contributing to her desire to take her own life. Bangladeshi police detained the woman, who remains in detention because killing oneself is a crime in the country. Aid workers familiar with the incident said the woman attempted suicide after an embassy employee promised to marry her and expedite her repatriation to Bangladesh in exchange for sexual favours.